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The Journal Gazette

  • Media mogul and former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi gestures during a political rally in Rome, Italy, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. As the date set for Italy's general elections scheduled for Feb. 24 and 25 approaches, Berlusconi claims he filled the gap with center-left candidate Pierluigi Bersani, a claim that cannot be verified because of Italy's law enforced pre-election polling blackout. (AP Photo/Mauro Scrobogna) ITALY OUT

Friday, February 22, 2013 12:45 pm

Berlusconi skips final rally due to eye problem

The Associated Press

Silvio Berlusconi has skipped his last campaign rally before Italian elections because of an eye problem.

The 76-year-old media mogul is trying to make a comeback, to win a fourth term as premier.

He was supposed to address a rally in Naples on Friday, but instead spoke to supporters in a video message. Italian media quoted his personal doctor, Alberto Zangrillo, as saying Berlusconi was advised to skip the rally, because he has a posterior vitreous detachment in an eye. In the condition, common in the elderly, a gel-like substance naturally in the eye pulls away from the retina.

Berlusconi and his center-right coalition have been running second in opinion polls before the Feb. 24-25 election, behind the center-left's candidate. Results will be announced Monday, after polls close.